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Mk 15:38-39

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  • Jim Deardorff
    I am wondering if someone on the list knows where (or if) the following problem is discussed in the literature. In Mk 15:39 the centurion marvels at Jesus
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 27, 1998
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      I am wondering if someone on the list knows where (or if) the following
      problem is discussed in the literature. In Mk 15:39 the centurion marvels at
      Jesus' last breath by exclaiming "Truly this man was a son of God." But what
      was it about seeing a man die at a crucifixion that would cause a centurion
      to say that? Death was the expected consequence of crucifixion, was it not?
      Would Jesus' death then have been somehow so awe inspiring as to provoke the
      centurion's outburst? If he had thought Jesus died rather quickly, would
      that have been any reason to call him a "son of God?" (The rending of the
      curtain in the temple is not what caused his exclamation, and anyway it was
      not visible from outside the temple.)

      I'm aware that the peculiarity of "a son of God" versus "the son of God" has
      received discussion, but I'm addressing this other problem.

      Hopefully it will not be considered "subversive" if I point out that in the
      Matthean parallel an earthquake occurs at this very same time -- one so
      strong as to split rocks open. This then, in Matthew, provides cause for the
      centurion's amazement and "a son of God" exclamation. (That and perhaps also
      the release of raised bodies from the graves, which seems to have been
      edited to occur only after the resurrection.) How do Markan priorists argue
      this one?



      Jim Deardorff
      Corvallis, Oregon
      E-mail: deardorj@...
      Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
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